The way God works is so captivating. Over and over He reveals to us that He is fully in control of all things, small and large. For you and me, it’s the most wonderful privilege to see Him lovingly, wisely, and powerfully guide each step in our journey of faith!
A God-Ordained Baptism Delay (Continued!)
In our last letter, I told you about how God used a timely case of covid to delay the baptism service for our church. To briefly recap, because of that delay, one of the ladies in our church had the time she needed to overcome certain obstacles that were holding her back from being baptized. It was just the time she needed to join the other three who were getting baptized.
The long-awaited Baptism Sunday arrived on August 27. What an amazing day it was! That morning our church family gathered together at Akigawa River, the river our church (Akigawa Baptist Church) is named after. We spent the morning celebrating the baptism of these four ladies, hearing their testimonies of salvation, and remembering the purpose of baptism from God’s word. Unsaved friends and family of those being baptized joined us as well. Because this was the last summer weekend before school resumed, there were many people gathered at the river that day. Which was perfect. It was the best way for those being baptized to share the Gospel with others through their act of obedience! I have no doubt that for many of those at the river that day, it was the only baptism they had ever witnessed. And here’s where we see God’s amazing plan revealed yet again.
Not long after our baptism at the river, our church members, Waichiro and his wife Yoshie received an unexpected message from a Christian lady Waichiro had worked with nearly twenty years ago. She asked him, “Did you happen to be at a baptism at Akigawa River?” She and her family had gone to the river that day (of all days!) and had watched the baptism from a distance. She thought she recognized Waichiro but wasn’t sure since it had been such a long time since they last saw each other. Neither Waichiro nor the lady are originally from this area. She told them that she had moved to this area, hadn’t been to church in a long time, and was interested in coming to their church. Come to find out, she was within walking distance of our church! A few weeks later, for the first time in a long time, she came to our Sunday service joining Waichiro and Yoshie in worshipping our Heavenly Father, Who had by His grace, been preparing this meeting for a long time!
An Update on Bethany’s Health (Also Continued)
For all of you that have been keeping Bethany in your prayers, thank you so much! It’s been a very long six months, but we’re so thankful for how God has been caring for us and revealing his plan through this journey. She started her fourth round of chemotherapy last Monday, and it’s been the most difficult round so far. She is beginning to get her strength back this week, so we’re very thankful for that. The main goal of chemo was to get through at least four rounds, and she made it. Please continue to pray for her strength to return, and that the chemo removed any remaining cancer cells in her body. We will meet with the doctor in a couple of weeks to determine the risk / benefit of continuing the two extra rounds of chemo, so please pray for wisdom.
Thank you all so much for all the ways you care for us, by giving and praying. Each of you who give, and who pray are on this journey with us. You are an integral part of the journey! Thank you for walking each step of it with us!
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